I’ve been journaling about my New Year’s resolutions for the past few years. I’ve managed to keep them and carry them forward. They’ve focused mostly around running, meditation and making art.
This year I’ve run over 800 miles and just finished my first marathon with a respectable time — for a 40 year old dude who just started running a few years ago.
A few years ago, finishing a marathon popped into my head as a goal and soon after that it started to feel like an inevitibility. And just like that, I did it. And now it’s over. Doesn’t seem as difficult in the rearview.
Looking forward to what 2018 has in store. Drinking more water, more often, is a pretty radical practice I’ll take on.
I saw an image of the artwork from Kimio Eto’s “Koto Music” album and it really landed for me. Instant impact. I feel that art “on art’s terms” is largely overlooked due to the quiet value it offers amid competing bids for attention from an accelerating and unprecedented variety of commercial media. But sometimes a piece of art just connects and makes you stop and say “Oh.”
I saw this album and had to know what the music sounded like. I gave it a spin via YouTube [+] and began studying the cover with paper and ink.
My goal was not to copy the cover but see where I ended up by studying it’s character and line and energy. Receive it and express it and change it in the process.
I’m tempted to explain the associations that ran through my mind as I steered the image toward my own thoughts and interpretations but instead I’ll just leave it here.
Stillness will lead you to a new awareness. Though it never really happens. Even the roots of a tree are on the move, finding water and soil while being still. Sitting motionless is a nice aspiration, but don’t forget to breathe. Breathe totally but listen closely and invite silence to access stillness. Stillness exists only behind the things. It’s the space that is not subject to motion.
After 2 consecutive years of keeping and building on my new year’s resolutions, this year I hit some speed bumps.
Despite the wobbles of plateau’d training in 2016, I just registered for my third consecutive Richmond Half Marathon and in 2017 I’m going to complete a full marathon. That’s the one thing. I’ll keep practicing meditation. I’m going to unlock more of my creative intuition and bring it further into action in my life — through art, design, writing.
But the new “one big thing” is training for and completing a marathon in 2017, my 40th year. I’ve already proven most of the benchmarks and have already begun on the road to achievement as a practice and a way of life. Small goals make big goals happen.
So now, I’m simply stating the big goal intentionally to anyone that reads this.
High Resolution is over rated. A little bit of grain is warm. Something that looks good in analog and feels comfortable on the eyes. There’s something to be said for that.
In 2016 I’ve committed to doing at least one ink drawing every week. That’s an easy goal. A low resolution. Persistence and consistency matter more than ambition with these things.
2 years ago, 2014, my resolution was to work out once a week without fail. I did it all year. Easy. I didn’t even define “work out.” Just committed to an hour of effort a week. Last year I upped it to attempt 500 running miles with a minimum of 365. I almost hit 400 by years’ end. But if I had set out to do that in 2014 the thought of it might have worn me out.
These days, Ben Sayers is an emergency room doctor by profession. He made this great set of compositions with his turntables when he was in school circa 2001. Most of the narrative in the tracks revolved around science and chemistry but it segued to the mind, imagination and spirit — connecting an array of brilliant threads.
We were both big fans of Rob Swift and Prince Paul. You can hear that influence in most of the tracks. Humor woven into really imaginative soundscapes and rhythm.
I recently came across the Emily Dickinson poem “Hope.” It took me a minute to pinpoint how I knew the words. I remembered it from his project. So I asked him to let me upload the whole set to YouTube as a playlist.
“But he learned more from the river than Vasudeva could teach him. He learned from it continually. Above all, he learned from it how to listen with a still heart, with a waiting open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment, without opinions.”
– Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
This image is a composite made of 3 separate photos taken last Friday in the Northern Neck during the Blue Moon.
As referenced in my previous post, the river means “home” to me. To that point, I have a connected appreciation to the osprey that live on the water. They play, hunt and raise families on the water. It provides everything to them. After 35 years of trips to the Northern Neck, I’ve only recently started paddling the creek near our house. Being on the water in a quiet boat allows me to feel even closer to these animals.